I wake up around 7 to either the noise of a rooster, guinea fowl and or one of the nine people that I live with. I get up, grab the key to my latrine, wrap a two yard around me, and walk the thirty feet to my latrine. Once finished, I greet my bathroom lady, -a women that lives at my toilet- because it is rude to greet going to the bathroom, and walk back to my room. I then dress, make my bed-shocker I know, it took moving to Africa to make me do that- fill up my electric tea kettle- the most amazing thing ever, America you got to get into this fad- prepare my oatmeal and coffee, pour hot water and enjoy. While eating, I am usually outside on my porch reading a book; listening to music and watching my village pass by. I am going to say that this is a Sunday, since they are the best days around here. The people passing by are wearing their best outfits and going to church which lasts anywhere from one to three hours, depending on which church you attend. I will be doing this for around three hours or so, then I will come inside to my room and do some small chores; dusting, cleaning, washing, etc. Washing clothes takes a whole day, let me tell you. By this time, I start to prepare for lunch which is usually rice, stew, soup or fried yams. While eating, I am watching shows or a movie on my laptop. Once my compound mates return from church, we talk and hang out for some time. Sunday is also the day that my farmers group meets as well as my women’s group. So I will go to those meetings if they are having them, and then return back to my place. This is now around four pm, the sun is starting to go down and the weather is finally getting cooler (AKA under 90 degree’s). What I would do without my fan, I don’t know. The power has been going off most days now, so I try to spend most of my time outside where I might catch a breeze and stop sweating from every pore on my body.
The power being off at night is just about the worst thing I can imagine. Waking up sweating everywhere and there is nothing you can do…Oye those are some long nights. I do not have a light in my room, so I do everything by candle light. The reason I don’t have light, yet have power, is because the bats/rats in my ceiling keep biting and destroying the cords that attach the power, so I gave up and live by candle light, which I enjoy now. After I have prepared diner, which is mostly noodles, eggs and veggies or leftovers from lunch, I take my bucket bath and prepare for bed. Here I will watch one movie and by 8pm am so tired that I fall asleep….like an old lady. This is a typical day for me in Mem Chemfre, my village. Peace Corps is a lot of reading, watching and learning, with a little bit of action and excitement. Each PCV of course has a different routine, but I know most will follow something like this on a daily basis. It may seem boring to what you thought my life might be like, but it is these times where people are not staring at me or calling me white lady that are so nice and comforting.